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Indigent or Unclaimed Veteran Burial. Military Urn or Casket provided

Benefit Category: State

VA Unclaimed Veteran Remains Casket or Unrn Reimbursement Program

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will reimburse for the purchase of a casket or urn used to inter a deceased, Unclaimed Veteran in a VA national cemetery or a VA-funded State or Tribal Veterans' cemetery if the Veteran died with no identifiable next of kin and insufficient resources to pay for a casket or urn.

WHO – Any individual or entity that pays for a casket or urn used to inter an eligible Unclaimed Veteran, in a VA national cemetery or VA-grant funded State or Tribal Veterans’ cemetery.

WHAT – VA will reimburse the actual cost of a casket or urn, not to exceed an established average annual cost, for a 20-gauge metal casket or a durable plastic urn. The maximum allowable reimbursement payable in calendar year 2019 is $2,681 for a casket and $162 for an urn.

HOW – Applicants must submit VA Form 40-10088, Request for Reimbursement of Casket/Urn. Part I should be submitted with documentation of qualifying military service to the VA National Cemetery Scheduling Office (NCSO). Part I may be faxed (toll-free) to 1-866-900-6417, emailed to nca.scheduling@va.gov, or mailed to PO Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151.

Applicants (who may differ from the individual or entity that requested burial), must submit Part II of VA Form 40-10088 with the required reimbursement documentation to NCSO at the time of the burial request, OR to the VA national cemetery, or to the State or Tribal Veterans’ cemetery BEFORE the actual interment.

Required documentation for reimbursement purposes includes the following:
•Invoice or bill of sale showing model number and cost of casket or urn.
•Completed and signed FSC Vendor File Request Form (VA Form 10091) or previously assignedVendor ID.

CASKET AND URN STANDARDS (A VA National Cemetery official will verify that caskets and urns meet these standards at the interment):

  • A casket must be of at least 20-gauge metal (thickness), designed to contain human remains and include a gasketed seal and external fixed rails or swing arm handles.
  • An urn must be made of a durable material, such as plastic, wood, metal, or ceramic, designed to hold cremated human remains, and include a secure closure to contain the cremated remains.
For information on other benefits available to provide Unclaimed Veterans with a dignified burial please see the Unclaimed Veteran Remains Fact Sheet.

North Dakota Indigent Veteran burial is the charge of the county. Military Urn or Casket provided.

NDCC 23-06-03 section 3:  If the deceased is not survived by an individual described by subsection 1 and did not leave sufficient means to defray funeral expenses, including the cost of a casket, the county social service board of the county in which the deceased had residence for county general assistance purposes or, if residence cannot be established, the county social service board of the county in which the death occurs shall employ some person to arrange for and supervise the burial or cremation. If the deceased was a resident or inmate of a public institution, the county in which the deceased was a resident for county general assistance purposes immediately before entering the institution shall employ a person to arrange for and supervise the burial or cremation. Each board of county commissioners may negotiate with the interested funeral directors or funeral homes regarding cremation expenses and burial expenses but the total charges for burial services, including transportation of the deceased to the place of burial, the grave box or vault, grave space, and grave opening and closing expenses, may not be less than one thousand five hundred dollars. The county social services board may provide for the use of a military casket or urn, if the deceased was a veteran as defined in section 37-01-40, unless the additional cost exceeds the negotiated expenses of this section or a surviving spouse or the nearest of kin of the deceased elects a nonmilitary casket. The county social service board shall pay the charge for funeral expenses as negotiated by the board of county commissioners, less any amount left by the deceased to defray the expenses.

Discharge Requests

Most Veteran’s benefits require that applicants provide a copy of their Form DD 214 or discharge record, which is evidence of their veteran status. This is an important document and must be safeguarded. In the State of North Dakota separation documents are considered confidential and privileged NDCC 37-18-11 (13). National Guard members may receive a NGB22 and /or NGB23 upon obtaining 20 years of satisfactory service (20 year letter).